Chris Botti and Company Bring a Musical Explosion

The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents

Written by Edward Huang

Botti with his band of young talents performing a lively jazz mashup

On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.

Chris Botti takes a break to allow his band to show off their talents

I would have to say that my favorite part of the performance was when the band played with Anastasiia Mazurok, the violinist. I had always thought of trumpets, drums, and basses to be separate from more classical instruments like the violin. If someone told me that they would sound good together, I would have been very skeptical. However, I was delighted to find that the band performing with a violin was not only good, it was spectacular. The stringed instrument blended in so well with the soft background of the accompaniment, creating a song that was nothing short of beautiful.

The bassist takes center stage, showing his musical versatility with the electric guitar

I thought that Chris Botti’s trumpet playing proved that he deserved the recognition he got. I had seen a few brass performances before, but nothing was as dominant as I saw from him. His playing demanded the attention of everyone in the room, fluctuating between powerful riffs and soft, subtle melodies. The band that he chose complimented him very well–each instrument with a distinct style but always coming together in a soulful symphony. Towards the second half of the show, he brought in a saxophone player as well as a vocalist. I was absolutely amazed by the amount of musical diversity they put together. Even with these additions, the music blended in so well, almost like a smooth mixture of “chocolate jazz”.

When I left Krannert that night, I looked up at the sky and said to myself: “Man, I love music so much.” This performance really revitalized my appreciation for the arts. I hope that I can see something like that again soon.

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